Etihad Rail has formally awarded the joint venture of Beijing-based China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) and the local National Projects & Construction (NPC) the AED4.6bn ($1.25bn) package D civil and construction works contract for stage 2 of the UAE’s national railway.

Package D will link the ports of Fujairah and Khorfakkan to the network at the Dubai border with Sharjah, and stretches over a distance of 145 kilometres.

The construction work includes 15 tunnels through the Hajar Mountains with a total length of 16km, as well as 35 bridges and 32 underpasses.

The contract is the latest major award for stage 2 of the UAE rail network. Etihad Rail awarded three civil works packages between March and June this year.

The firm awarded the first civil works package in March to a team comprising China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) and South Korea’s SK Engineering. That contract is worth AED1.5bn.

The contract is for the construction of a 139km rail line in the Al-Dhafra region between Ghuweifat and Ruwais.

In June, the contracts for packages B and C were awarded to a joint venture of CRCC and local contracting firm Ghantoot Transport & General Contracting.

The total contract value for both packages is AED4.4bn.

Package B runs for 216km, while package C runs for 94km. The packages are part of the 605km line from Ghuweifat to the Port of Fujairah.

Last year, Etihad Rail selected US-based Jacobs Engineering for the engineering design contract for stage 2 and future routes of the railway network. It also awarded French engineering consultancy Egis Group the project management consultancy contract for the scheme.

Etihad Rail awarded the AED1.6bn ($436m) systems and integration contract for stage 2 to Hitachi Rail STS earlier this year.

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